'Clip Kino' has been developed, since November 2007, as an open model for self-organised screening events. One or more guest-host(s) are responsible on each occasion for arranging the video content, like a curated screening. However, unlike other social cinematic events, the content is solely consisted from what can be freely downloaded from P2P file-sharing online networks, and popular media sharing platforms.
Since its debut at Valon Voimat Festival in November 2007, there have been 10 events in 2008 at Helsinki City Media Library Kirjasto10, organised by volunteers on an almost zero-budget, with no viewing charge, to an audience of 1-3 up to 22+ people. So far these have been small-scale intimate events. 'Clip Kino' can be thus be understood in one way as a facillitation framework for low-budget video events.
However, it has pedagogical aspects worth detailing further. Due to the relatively democratic ability of ease in gaining the content, the curation process is more egalitarian and less based on privilege of ownership or access. It is a dialogical structure which flattens distinction between the participant and organiser. 'Clip Kino' has been utilised as a teaching method for cultural organising at Taidekoulu MAA and Stadia Polytechnic with young adult students, and at Eyebeam Centre for Art and Technology, New York, with teenage students.
Online video clips can range from 1-30 mins each, although most often they are between 2-10 minutes. This means that a single screening can consist of 10-20 clips, which have usually been selected on the basis of their relation to one theme. This prospect means that views are naturally given a multi-faceted, poly-vocal view on a topic, consisting of more or less complements and/or conflicts. This mix is a sample reality of shared existence in a particular environment.
An overall ambition of the 'Clip Kino' model has been to drag aspects of normalised 'private' activity - of viewing downloaded content on one's own computer - into public space for screening, appreciation and debate. In this situation the term 'media-environmental awareness' applies to include the social ecology of one's interests, desires, and attentions in one's peer-group and community. This is 'direct action' media literacy: What media is online? Who is watching it? What does it mean to them, and indeed to you? Where does the video clip come from? How was it produced and distributed? Has it inspired copies, remixes or derivatives? The activity can be a practical and critical education of intellectual property (IP) issues and the emerging configurations of public-private space.
Watching with other people, watching someone else's choices, when the selecting person is also present, is revealing. Face-to-face meetings of people, plus the screen, are an important feature of 'Clip Kino' events. It is a starting point for exploring grassroot and collective representational processes. The challenge of standing up for one's choices can be as difficult sometimes as committing time to watching something selected by another one doesn't know. Introduction of topic and choices by the guest-host(-curator), and discussion after screening, is warmly encouraged. These are also social occasions to meet new people, and to sit down and watch what gets other people going, enthused and stimulated.
Andrew Gryf Paterson, 11.2008